- Who is qualified to receive ministerial credentials?
- In one sense all believers are called to minister, because all believers have been called to serve God and His people and to live lives that are pure before God. And finally to share the gospel with the lost. However, ministerial credentials pertain to those believers who have been given the responsibility of fulfilling full-time five-fold ministry. (Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher and Evangelist). Their function and responsibilities differ from a lay-worker or a person serving in the ministry of helps. In one sense a five-fold minister requires this recognition so that their ministry can be recognized by civil authorities and requires a higher level of accountability. The Bible establishes the spiritual and moral qualifications of five-fold ministers who are called Elders in 1Tim. 3:2-7, as well as Titus 1:1-8.
- Moral qualifications
- The minister is to be blameless (1 Timothy 3:2)
- The minister must be temperate (1 Timothy 3:2)
- The minister is to be sober (1 Timothy 3:2)
- The minister is to be of good behavior ( 1 Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is not to be given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is not to be a striker (1 Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is not to be greedy of money (1 Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is not to be a brawler (1Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is not to be covetous (1 Timothy 3:3)
- The minister is to be lover of good (1Timothy 1:8)
- Eligibility for Licensing/Ordination
- AFCM recognizes ministers from other fellowships, but transfer of a minister’s credentials will not be accepted unless the minister meets the requirements as set forth in the AFCM bylaws.
- In summary, AFCM uses the following criteria to test eligibility:
- One who has a divine call to a five-fold ministry.
- One who is in full time ministry.
- One who has demonstrated this call.
- The minister must have studied and shown himself approved in handling the Word of God accurately. Others have recognized the call on the minister’s life.
- The minister must maintain compliance with AFCM bylaws concerning doctrine and ethical standards.
- The minister must exhibit the proper fruit in character and ministry.
- The minister must devote significant time to preaching and teaching the Word of God from a recognized ministerial position requiring five-fold ministry.
- The minister should by virtue of his office, administer the ordinances of the church and conduct weddings and funerals.
- Except in church planting, a minister should derive most of his income from his ministerial duties.
The above mentioned requirements should not be construed as to minimize the importance of individuals who are involved in other forms of ministry, but AFCM recognizes the need for establishing minimum requirements for those who intend to receive ministerial credentials.
- What is the difference between a provisional license, ministerial license, and ordination?
Provisional Licensing is for a minister with no prior ministry experience, just out of Bible School, or new to AFCM. Ministerial Licensing is intended for those who are presently working in full or part time in five-fold ministry. Ordination credentials are intended for those who are working in five-fold ministry, have proven ministry experience, and are generally serving in full time ministry.
- Do I need to renew my credentials/membership annually?
- Can I be a member of AFCM without being credentialed?
AFCM now offers a “Christian Worker” status, which is a level of membership specifically targeted for an individual who has exhibited faithfulness and effective service in a support or helps ministry role either in a church or ministry, as a volunteer or a staff member. Applications for this level of membership are initiated by the individual’s pastor or ministry head, who must hold credentials with AFCM.
- May I hold credentials with AFCM and another licensing body?
- If I hold credentials with another body, which body should I submit to in matters ofdiscipline?
You would submit to the body who holds your credentials for discipline. However, if for some reason said body does not discipline in line with Biblical standards and principles, then AFCM will administer proper Biblical discipline.